NABOKV-L post 0006912, Sun, 13 Oct 2002 13:48:14 -0700

Fw: music and form
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carolyn Kunin" <>
To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <>
> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (22
lines) ------------------
> I would have to disagree that music can only be understood on re-hearing.
> Much music, improvised music, such as jazz comes to mind, is not
> But without repetition there can be no music.
> It is an interesting subject. The most interesting experience I have had
> this regard was hearing jazz pianist Cecil Taylor perform many years ago.
> The first half of his program was totally incomprehensible. He began with
> the lowest notes on the keyboard and progressed in some totally unmusical
> way up to the highest and back down again, buzzing like a bee all the
> But after he had done this a number of times, I did begin to perceive, not
> pattern at first, but repetition. He was repeating the whole mess exactly
> the same each time, not the slightest variation in note or rhythm, even
> though there was no rhythm and no discernible pattern. But like some
> he repeated it flawlessly over and over. It was quite an experience.
> It drove about half the audience out of the house. Those of us who stayed
> for the second half were treated to some of the most meltingly lyrical
> I have ever heard.
> The link I see to Nabokov is that a novel like Pale Fire is
> on first reading. The reader has to learn how to read in a totally new
> If he does, he too will be treated.